Today it feels like every other thing said is taken personally by someone and thus ends up offending a group of people. Immediately there comes the public slamming about racism of every kind. It seems if you have no intention to defend someone or something, you are banned from mentioning it/them whatsoever, as anything you say will be used against you. From joking about “synthetic babies” to cracking a green card joke, it is obvious that in the internet age every time you open your mouth you are likely walking through a minefield. The famous Voltaire saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” is hardly exercised any more, not when you are likely to be punished for you opinions by literally being blown up for disrespecting someone’s religious beliefs or metaphorically have your life blown up by a disapproving hashtag that can threaten to annihilate your professional achievements.
Tom Walsh once said that “humour results when society says you can’t scratch certain things in public, but they itch in public.” Humour therefore takes honesty and guts (to often state the obvious), something that our society lacks. Of course not all examples of failed political correctness have to do with humour, some are simple slips of the tongue, like the Benedict Cumberbatch’s use of “coloured” instead of black which resulting in accusations of racism. (even though he was actually making an argument pointing out the lack of opportunities for black actors).
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon like sheep with those who take the opportunity to personally attack and slam others (for reasons that we might not be aware of) we should instead take a moment to think what the so called offender does in his/her life to deserve the slamming. Actions are stronger than words.
So instead of asking “Does this person speak pro/against X, Y, Z?” , you should ask “Would this person ever discriminate against X,Y,Z?”. Would this person act out of hate? This way you can also tell humour from masking hate satire.
I have seen countless of “politically correct” people (their “correctness” mainly owed to the fact that they are never honest and open about their personal beliefs) living “politically incorrect” lifestyles, the most common example hiring people of their own race/religion/sexual preference. The most “politically correct” of all of course being the politicians, the masters of political correctness and hypocrisy.
Where does this political-correctness frenzy lead us? My best guess is a distorted multiculturalism, a society where sameness is being mistaken for equality. ( but where equality is not in effect). “Multiculturalism” when there is only one culture and it is “offensive” to acknowledge otherness with respect. A new world order indeed.
But the biggest disservice is that it does not help us understand each other as human beings. On the contrary it fragments us in a state of silent hate and passive aggressiveness that condemns us to never really like each other.